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Overview of Panama’s Free Trade Agreements

Overview of Panama’s Free Trade Agreements

Find out about Panama's free trade agreements (FTAs), and how they support the country's development and promote benefits for foreign investment.  According to the US Embassy in Panama, the country has "historically served as the crossroads of trade for the Americas.” Thanks to the Panama Canal and the benefits offered by all the free trade zones within the country, it has become a strategic hub to do business. In 2017, Panama exported US$3.06 billion and imported US$24.8 billion, resulting in a trade balance of US$21.7 billion, making it the 66th largest importer in the world.  What is a free trade agreement in Panama?  According to the National Customs Authority or 'Autoridad Nacional de Aduanas', a free trade agreement is a regional or bilateral consensus that helps to promote the exchange of goods and services between the country members. Likewise, FTAs aim to eliminate or reduce trade tariffs between the signing parties. They are often supervised by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Panama is a member of SICA SICA works to integrate Central American markets. SICA, also known as 'Sistema de Integración Centroamericana' is a regional institution located in Central America, founded by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama in 1991. The main purpose of this institution is to promote the integration of Central America, fostering security, freedom, democracy, and social development within the region. SICA is continuously working on the development of initiatives to integrate all these six countries. Thanks to SICA, the...

What Does the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Mean for Business?

What Does the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Mean for Business?

The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCoFTA) has been in force since August 2011. It is Colombia’s second free trade agreement with a developed country. The negotiated items in this agreement are comparable to the commercial terms found in Canada’s other bilateral agreements with Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. Since the establishment of the agreement, trade between both countries has developed tremendously. In this article, we'll describe the principal goals, results, and opportunities of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Goals of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement The goals of the agreement include: Developing a secure market for goods and services.Creating new employment opportunities and improved working conditions.Reducing trade distortions.Ensuring a predictable commercial framework for business planning and investment.Enhancing the competitiveness of firms in global markets.Strengthening regulations regarding environmental impact.Respect internationally recognized corporate social responsibility standards. Promoting economic development to reduce poverty. Results for Canadian and Colombian business The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement has successfully eliminated tariffs on 98% of the goods and services traded. Additionally, it ensures equitable treatment for Canadian and Colombian investments in each country. Trade between both countries has grown by over 50% since the enforcement of the agreement. As a result, bilateral trade has grown by over 50% since the enforcement of the agreement. In 2019, bilateral trade reached...

Overview: Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay Trade Relations

Overview: Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay Trade Relations

Companies seeking to expand to Latin America should consider the commercial opportunities generated by trade agreements between Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. As Latin American countries promote regional relationships to support each other, growth and free trade agreements offer new opportunities for business owners seeking to access important benefits and new markets abroad. As one of the largest economies in Latin America, Argentina draws focus for foreign expanding companies. Expanding multinationals should pay attention to the close relationship Argentina maintains with neighboring countries, especially as these countries work to reduce bureaucratic barriers to doing business – such as the introduction of a new legal entity structure in Uruguay. We provide a comprehensive overview of the trade agreements between Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. We also share some of the opportunities available to executives considering entering these markets. Argentina-Uruguay-Paraguay trade relations and agreements The economic relations between Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay are comprehensive. Several different trade agreements in force between these nations reflect the efforts of their governments to maintain and strengthen trade ties. Several different trade agreements in force between these nations reflect the efforts of their governments to maintain and strengthen trade ties. However, in addition to strengthening relations with neighboring countries, each country has worked to diversify its trade profile not only within the region, but outside it with important trade partners...

Mexico-China Relations Boost International Trade Potential

Mexico-China Relations Boost International Trade Potential

Acting as a bridge between North and South America, trade is an important part of Mexico’s economy. Mexico is the world’s 15th largest exporter in the world, with exports representing 80% of its GDP in 2018. The former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - now United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USCMA), has benefited the country’s manufacturing industry and economy. However, this deal also made Mexico’s income highly dependant on the U.S economy and politics. On the back of this, Mexico is seeking to diversify its trade partners, targeting the improvement of its trade relations with China and other countries. Mexico is seeking to do this by working to increase the long-distance exporting potential for its businesses. In this article, we outline how businesses can benefit from Mexico’s efforts to diversify its trading relations by connecting with China and other countries. Mexico international trade: Economic cooperation with China Mexico's international trade relationship with China represents new diversification potential in the country. In July of 2019, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard visited Beijing to boost relationships with China. The Prime Minister stayed in Beijing for two days and met with the State Advisor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.  At the meeting, the two statesmen agreed to strengthen the Asociación Estratégica Integral (Integral Strategic Partnership) established in 2013. On top of that, the two countries agreed to arrange a roadmap for the next five years that will guide actions aimed at making economic relations reach their full...

5 Key Outcomes From the Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement

5 Key Outcomes From the Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement

The Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) was signed by both Australia and Peru on 12 February 2018 in Canberra. The agreement looks to strengthen bilateral relations whilst also better integrate the two nation’s economies as a way to stimulate growth and encourage more foreign investors to incorporate businesses in their territories.  The two nations formally integrated through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) however after its recent struggle with the USA, trade slowed and both nations suffered. To fill the void, Peru and Australia sought their own trade agreement. Consequently, 3 years on, both nations eagerly await the ratification of a seminal and hugely beneficial trade agreement – The Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement.  Australia is globally recognized as a mature and stable economy with a trade-focused outlook, exporting 18.8 as a percentage of GDP. Having reported a stagnating economy since 2013, Australia looks to greater export as a method for recovery. Peru, on the other hand, is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America revealing a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 4.5%. Similar to Australia in terms of its reliance on export, Peru also looks to trade as the key to its continued expansion. Outcomes of Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) By the nature of geography, both Australia and Peru are nations somewhat isolated from the major consumer markets – Asia, North America, and Europe. This means their economies are largely reliant on trade and bilateral relations. When the TPP stalled in 2017, both nations looked to each other...

Overview: Trade and Connectivity Between Australia and Colombia

Overview: Trade and Connectivity Between Australia and Colombia

Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. With major improvements in security aspects and steady economic growth, the country constitutes a large, vibrant economy that is embracing market openness and attracting increasing attention from international investors and businesses. This includes mining and agricultural giant, Australia. The level of involvement of the Australian business community in this Latin American country has been aided by the recent opening of the new Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital. Moreover, Australia is currently negotiating its first FTA with Colombia through the Pacific Alliance regional trading bloc (comprising of members Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). Australia-Colombia - Two megadiverse, interconnected countries Australia and Colombia share a classification as 2 of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, each possessing a world-ranking wealth of natural resources. As a result, these two powerhouses present economic symmetry in booming tourism, mining and agriculture industries. Additionally, these economies both demonstrate a keenness to expand their international trade horizons, and see great potential in each other for increased connectivity. Australia, the island state-continent, is a trading gateway to Asia, with strong ties to major players such as China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Australia also participates in multilateral agreements in this region, primarily through the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and...

New Zealand-Pacific Alliance Trade: Where is it Headed?

New Zealand-Pacific Alliance Trade: Where is it Headed?

New Zealand and Latin America trade relations are looking positive, as Asia’s regional growth slows and the keen agricultural exporter seeks to diversify its customers. It’s no secret that New Zealand is in the middle of negotiating a trade deal with the Pacific Alliance. But what's in store once New Zealand signs the dotted line? The Pacific Alliance, made up of member countries Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru has the potential to become Latin America’s largest trade bloc. Find out what opportunities lie ahead for increased cooperation between these countries and their Pacific neighbor. New Zealand-Pacific Alliance Trade - What is the Pacific Alliance? Formed in 2011, the Pacific Alliance promotes regional integration between member countries. This includes the paring back of barriers to trade to develop stronger regional business relations. The Pacific Alliance wants to move towards purposeful and free “mobility of goods, services, resources and people.” This deeper integration will encourage further domestic and regional growth for members, and shape healthy competitiveness between them. To note is the Pacific Alliance’s influence on a regional and global scale. Collectively, it represents the eighth largest economy in the world. Its membership is just the tip of the iceberg; under the surface, the Pacific Alliance has 4 associate members and 53 actively participating observers. New Zealand is currently an associate member of the Pacific Alliance, along with Canada, Singapore, and neighboring Australia. While associate members have insights into the growth, demands...

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